Power line networking basically turns a building's existing electrical wiring -- the wires that carry electricity to different outlets in the house -- into network cables, meaning they also carry data signals for a computer network. And this means virtually all households, in the U.S at least, are "wired for" power line networking. It doesn't replace a regular network, so you'll still need a router, but it's a good way to extend … Read more
At a street price of around $50 for a kit of two units, the Actiontec 500 Mbps Powerline Network Adapter Kit is a bargain. And that's not the only good thing about it.
The kit, retail model number PWR511K01, comes with two identical adapters, currently the smallest of their type, that offered very good performance in my testing.
The only real complaint I have is that these adapters don't support Gigabit Ethernet, hence offering the limited data rate of the regular Ethernet standard at most. However, the affordable price and the supercompact design still make the kit an … Read more
Looking to build your home network? If money is not an issue, check out the cutting-edge, no-compromises Asus RT-AC68U, or the Netgear R7000. These two are on the bleeding edge of Wi-Fi, offering superfast 802.11ac on the 5Ghz frequency band, as well as the higher cap speed of 600Mbps on the 2.4Ghz band. They also provide long range and USB 3.0 support, and have a boatload of features. If you want the biggest bang for your buck, however, the Asus-RT56U is definitely one to consider; this little true dual-band N600 router packs way more punch than its … Read more
Now that you have learned about the basics of home networking in Part 1, and how to optimize your Wi-Fi in Part 2, in Part 3, it's time to get your hands dirty and learn how to take control of your network completely.
All home networks start with a network cable. Even if you plan on using all wireless clients, in most cases you will still need at least one cable to connect the wireless router and the broadband modem. … Read more
Since my last post on the basics of home networking, which is Part 1 of this series, I've been flooded with even more e-mails than I had been before (which explains why some of you haven't heard back from me). The good news is that nobody is asking about what a router is anymore. I guess I did an OK job explaining that in my previous post.
Most of the e-mails this time asked about how to have the … Read more
As the guy who reviews networking products, I generally receive a couple of e-mails from readers a day, and most of them, in one way or another, are asking about the basics of networking (as in computer to computer, I am not talking about social networks here.)
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate e-mails because, at the very least, it gives me the impression that there are real people out there amid the sea of spam. But I'd rather not keep repeating myself. So instead of saying the same thing over and over again in individual e-mails, I'll talk all about home networking basics, in layman's terms, in this post.… Read more
LAS VEGAS--Your home's electrical wiring is about to get supercharged for data speed, should you choose to use it as cabling of a computer network.
The HomePlug Powerline Alliance (HPA) announced today the availability of the HomePlug AV2 specification. This is the upgrade to the current HomePlug AV, used in Powerline AV 500 products such as the D-Link DHP-501AV, the Netgear XAV5001, or the D-Link DHP-540, that offers up to 500Mbps throughput speed.
HPA says that this new HomePlug technology enables significant performance and coverage for broadband networking over power-line wires while remaining fully interoperable with existing HomePlug AV-based … Read more
D-Link today announced its three new power-line solutions, the PowerLine AV Mini Adapter (model DHP-310AV), PowerLine AV Mini Adapter Kit (DHP-311AV), and PowerLine AV 4-port Switch Mini Adapter Starter Kit (DHP-348AV).
All of these new devices come in a compact design that's much smaller than similar products of the same standard. Unfortunately, they offer throughput speeds of only up to 200Mbps. Other power-line products on the market, such as the Netgear XAV5501 or even the D-Link AV 500 switch, support the faster 500Mbps power-line standard.
Nonetheless, the new adapters will make a great wireless alternative for the far corners that a Wi-Fi signal can't get to.… Read more
Zyxel announced today that it has now officially joined the Powerline AV+ 500 club with its first adapter, the Zyxel PLA4205.
In real-world usage, the speed is likely to be much slower than that but probably still faster than a traditional Ethernet connection, which would make it more than fast enough for streaming HD content and other heavy home-networking needs.
Zyxel says its PLA4205 adapter is backward-compatible with previous power-line standards … Read more
This kit includes two adapters, model DHP-500AV, which are based on the HomePlug Powerline Alliance's new Powerline AV 500 standard, the same standard that the XAV5501 is based on. The D-Link's DHP-500AV adapter, however, is much more compact, just about 40 percent the size of the Netgear.
The smaller size doesn't mean it's slow, and in our testing the kit showed superfast performance, significantly faster than … Read more